The Maiden of Northland: A Hero Tale of Finland

The Maiden of Northland: A Hero Tale of Finland

by Aaron Shepard, Carol Schwartz
     
 

Lovely Aila hs been called a blossom sweet to smell, a fruit ripe to pluck. To her door come Vainamoinen, ancient sage, and his faithful friend Ilmarinen, master blacksmith, each hoping to win her love. But little do the heroes know that Aila and her mother have agreed that she will wed neither of them. Full color.See more details below

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Overview

Lovely Aila hs been called a blossom sweet to smell, a fruit ripe to pluck. To her door come Vainamoinen, ancient sage, and his faithful friend Ilmarinen, master blacksmith, each hoping to win her love. But little do the heroes know that Aila and her mother have agreed that she will wed neither of them. Full color.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
Vainamoinen, the great magician and sage, bemoans his lack of a wife. He learns of the beautiful Aila, the maiden of Northland, and sets off to win her as his bride. His dear friend, the smithy Ilmarinen, has long planned to seek Aila's hand, so the two friends find themselves in a contest. The maiden's mother, Louhi, has great magic at her disposal as well, and almost succeeds in tricking the two friends. Written in free verse, this retelling of the tale draws on the Kalevela, Finland's great national epic. Intricate, gouache illustrations adorn each page and colorful borders encircle the text.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-7-A retelling from the Finnish myth cycle, the Kalevala, in which the aging hero Vainamoinen and the great smith Ilmarinen compete for the hand of Aila, the maiden of Northland. Aila has no intention of marrying either of them, but her mother decides to take advantage of the situation and sets the suitors a task. When Louhi asks each of them to bring her "...something never seen before," Vainamoinen returns with a kantele, a lap harp, that the woman is unable to play. Ilmarinen's sampo, a mill that grinds flour by itself, pleases her, but Aila refuses to marry the smith. The spurned men escape with their gifts, but lose them in the ocean. Shepard's use of free verse allows him more flexibility than the traditional poetic meter. While the text falters occasionally, it retains a sense of majestic rhythm and is most effective when read aloud. Shepard's retelling differs significantly from M.E.A. McNeil's prose version in The Magic Storysinger (Stemmer House, 1993), but both titles are well written and valuable, especially since there is little from the Kalevala available for young readers. Supporting information is detailed, including a pronunciation guide, notes, and references. Schwartz's gouache illustrations are vivid and appealing, with jewel-like colors and crisp lines. The book is nicely laid out, with an abstract folk-art design bordering each page and the verses set in two well-spaced columns. An unusual and appealing addition.-Donna L. Scanlon, Lancaster County Library, PA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689804854
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
05/01/1996
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
10.26(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.44(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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